In commeration of The Civil War Sesquicentennial I dedicate this blog to the five hundred Confederate Soldiers that died in The Town of Clay, Ononadaga County, New York when the prisonship they were being held on sank during a violent thunderstorm. May they rest in peace
In the year 1864 when the war was starting to wind down a group of Confederate Officers were to visit Hellmira POW camp in Elmira, New York to inspect and ensure that their men were being taken care of properly. What they didn't know was that the Hellmira camp commander would gather up all the sick, wounded, and dying men that were not being taken care of properly and ship them to the mountians in northern New York. But this one time they loaded all of them on this leaky old tub that should have been used for fire wood instead of a prisonship. When they got the old tub loaded it was towed to a small lake that connected to the old New York State Barge Canal in The Town of Clay in Ononadaga County.
Right near where Oak Orchard Road connects to Caughdenoy Road. This is a correction since this blog was originaly written. The road no longer connects to Caughdenoy Road that whole end of the road that this sight was on has been totally tore out like it was never there!! Evidently we have put a bur under somebody's saddle.
From spring through fall Central New York will have some horrendous thunder storms with strong wind
and sheets of rain driven by the strong wind. Thunder and lighting like you sware to god the devil himself
was putting on a power show of somekind. One night in 1865 just such a storm came rolling in the guards became scared so they batten down the hatches and abandoned the prisonship this was about midnight.
It was about two o' oclock in the morning when people who lived in the area began to hear the screaming
voices of these men. The ship was starting to go down these screams went on for two and a half hours.
Not one person went out to help these prisoners . This was told to me by my best friends mother who got
it from her grandmother who was a witness to the whole thing. When I told my father about it he already new as he grew up in the area. My dad took me out there in 1953 when I was thirteen. At that time the lake
had shrunk to a swamp but you could still see portions of the ship sticking up out of the water. As we stood
there the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up all the way to my butt. I looked at my dad and it got
worse I could tell my father was there but he wasn't there. He was communicating with the dead or trying to
as my father was clarvoiant. For many years he tried getting the politicians in Clay to do something about it
and not keep it a secret but they wouldn't. So a lot of people over the years have been slauhtered like hogs.
About 1956 a distant cousin of mine bought the old farm house that was right next to were this happened. Both of them worked by the time they got home in the evening it was almost dark. Her two daughters would
play outside untill supper was ready. They had been dragging there feet to come in when she called so she
jumped them about it. One of her girls spoke up and said but momma we were playing with our friend this
turned the bells on in her head instantly. When they gave a discription of him she called my father right away.
Dad told her to try and see him so they did. When they saw him he was an old man with a white beard and
grey ragged uniform when he saw them he immediately turned and disappered into the line of scrub brush
that seperated the house from where the ship had sunk.
With the men being as sick as they were with some on the verge of death I've often wonderd what happened to those that died during the year the prisonship was there. Another mystery of the ages.
So Town Suprivisor of Clay when are you going to dedicate a monument on the sight where these
valiant and brave soldiers of the Southern Cross died in the American tradition fighting for what they beleaved in. You renamed 7th North Street after a well known slaver by the name of Henry Clay.
Gov. Coumo why isn't there a New York State Historical sign on the sight were these brave soldiers made
there last stand. This is why The Ghost Of The Confederacy still lives in Clay. In the mean time the local population is paying the supreme sacrifice for the depravations of the Town of Clay and The State of New York.